things about the Christian life

TRIBE: Part I

Our church’s youth retreat, TRIBE, was this Friday thru Sunday. By the time Thursday rolled around and I started thinking about going, I summoned up all the energy within me and was left with zero interest in going. I thought about calling in sick and staying home to get some actual rest after the other two conferences that have sucked a lot of energy out of me the past few weeks. I talked to Whit about how I was feeling and he admitted he felt pretty much the same way, with maybe a little more investment than I had in the weekend. We talked about it and ended up coming with some truths that we should go because it will be worthwhile, we’ll enjoy it by the end of it, it won’t be as bad as we were thinking, etc.Photo Jan 17, 7 43 30 AM

A lot of the reason I wasn’t looking forward to going was because I have only been helping out with the youth a couple of months, so I don’t know very many of the students yet, and since I wasn’t able to attend any of the planning sessions, I didn’t know what would be going on during the weekend and if I would enjoy the activities or not. I just imagined myself feeling super awkward, out of place, bored, and uncomfortable. I knew that that wasn’t necessarily true, and even if it was I shouldn’t worry about it, but trust God because He’s brought me through so many situations like that in the past. But I know what it feels like to be in those situations because they’ve happened before, and I didn’t want to experience that again. “I’m an adult, I shouldn’t have to feel like the freshman or middle schooler who feels weird and doesn’t know anyone!” I knew I had a bad attitude, but I couldn’t shake it.

Friday morning I woke up stiff as a board, sore from a workout a couple days prior and cramping because I had just started my period. I had so much to do before my team members arrived for our Global Missions meeting at our apartment, for the first time ever. I struggled through my tiredness to get ready and clean up the house and plan a couple of mini-errands that needed to happen before I left town. I knew I would only have an hour to pack after my team left before I needed to leave to be at the church. Unfortunately I didn’t get to pack at all the night before because we were taking down all of our Christmas stuff – which was a lot, so stressful, and I had an errand to run in the middle of it. Are you stressed yet reading this?? I am trying to set the scene.

I shared briefly with my team about how I was feeling and asked them to pray for me. I also texted my mom because she’s my prayer warrior and is always so uplifting and encouraging. I got a few great texts from her and a really encouraging text from Whit as well. I felt a little better, but was still nervous about packing and running errands in the short amount of time I had. My mom told me not to worry because I always get everything done that I need to with God’s help and His grace. So when my team left I scrambled to pull everything together, and I was out the door a few minutes past when I needed to leave – a solid miracle, as I was thinking I would be upwards of thirty minutes late if I could get there at all!

I pulled up next to Whit, who was coming from work, and hopped in the car with him to go get some dinner. Apparently, we were supposed to arrive at the church at 5pm – but have already eaten dinner. When people schedule things that interfere with meals, I get irrationally upset. Please don’t mess with my meals or sleep, people. So that didn’t help my attitude, but I was looking forward to the retreat a little more. Whit and I ate dinner and loaded ourselves on the bus and weren’t stressed about the timing anymore because we had forgotten that our youth group runs late on time for these types of things. Phew, that was a relief. I learned that we were going to the Poconos and that there would be snow tubing (seriously, I was out of the loop), and was a little bummed that I didn’t bring my snow pants or more/better boots, but I was so thankful God had snuck a pair of boots and sweatpants into my bag for me without me knowing I would need them. I turned on my ipod (Reba) as soon as I got on the bus and went straight to sleep until we got there.

This has been a longer post than I was imagining so you are going to have to wait for part two.

To be continued….

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